Monday, March 15, 2010

Feed Sack Chic

Don't you just love the look of feed sack upholstered furniture, but it can be quiet pricey. Recently, I bought an old chair, refinished it, recovered the seat cushion with burlap and stenciled it for a fraction of the cost. Maison de Stencils on Etsy has lots of authentic looking stencils. They are not cheap, but you can reuse them for several different projects. I also covered a bulletin board with burlap and stenciled it. I would recommend stenciling first - make sure you put something under the burlap before you begin to stencil. The paint can bleed through the backside. Also, I found that a dry, natural hair brush works the best. A dark gray instead of black looks more authentic and worn. I also stenciled a linen lampshade - a little tricky since it was already circular, but I think it came out pretty good. For those fabulous curtains, you can get very inexpensive natural linen curtains at Target (84" for $19.99) and stencil them with one of those large stencils from I think I am going to try to do these for my new atelier, creative studio. I'll post a picture once I'm done.

Jeanne d' Arc Living

I just got my new Jeanne d' Arc Living Magazine (February, 2010). I was like a kid getting my hands on the Sears Christmas Book! I couldn't wait to open it up. I thought this month's issue was even better than the last one. The pages are full of fresh ideas for Easter and springtime. . . . love the nests and eggs.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hearty Vegetarian Chili - comfort food

This is a favorite at the farmhouse. We have it almost every week during the winter months. It is super easy to make, fiber-rich, economical, and is great packed in a thermos for lunch. Serve it with organic tortilla chips and a dollop of lowfat sour cream (we are loving the Smart Start sour cream these days) - delicious!

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 257 (9% from fat)
Fat: 2.7g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.5g,poly 1.2g)
Protein: 12.8g
Carbohydrate: 48.8g
Fiber: 14.2g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 4.5mg
Sodium: 876mg
Calcium: 150mg

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2003

Friday, February 26, 2010

Luminous Lights

Quiet possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever made. This is a delightful string of lights made from tea stained coffee filters. They are so lovely and whimsical. My daughter loves them instead of a nightlight -magical.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finial Fanatic

I have been collecting old wooden finials for some time now. The first one I ever received was given to me by my husband for our anniversary. He bought it in a small shop in Essex. It was originally owned by Gretchen Mann, a designer whom I absolutely love. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was. I remember going through a Country Loving magazine shortly after that and seeing a wonderful feature story about her home. Low and behold, there was my finial on the center of her dining table.

Soon, I bought three more of her beautiful antique finials and thus my collection began. But, what is it about these little bits of history that attract me? I love the sculptural quality of the various shapes: urn, acorn, ball. I love the years of paint chipping on the edges – it adds timelessness to the piece. How much longer has this piece existed than I? How many sunsets and rises has it seen sitting upon a porch baluster? How many children’s hands have palmed it quickly running down stairs as it sat upon a newel? There is something beautiful and absolutely simple about them that speaks to me.

“Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but until they speak to the imagination not yet beautiful.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Didn't want to leave out the mudroom . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bedroom and Master Bath

So, this is by far my favorite space in the entire house. I love my bedroom. It is quiet, peaceful and a wonderful place to just "be" after a long day. Again, I used all neutral colors. There is something very calming to me about neutrals - grays, browns, and earth tones. I love the contrast of elements like feedsack pillows juxtaposed with crystal lamps. I remember when we were building this house. It originally was suppose to have four bedrooms. We redesigned it, with the help of my father, to only have three, and I used the additional space to build this fabulously huge bathroom. I love the feel of the cool marble floors when you step out of the hot shower. It is light and crisp and opens into the master bedroom with two oversized French doors. When one of my neighbors saw it, she commented with, "what wasted space;" she just doesn't get it.